A recent coronavirus epidemic, which triggers a disease known as COVID-19, has caused thousands of staff to work remotely worldwide. There was no alternative but to operate from home with those under quarantine, including those who were well enough to sign up. Several huge companies, including Google, Twitter, Apple, and LinkedIn, have called some of their branches to operate remotely. As a precautionary measure, several more organizations are promoting remote work.
There is no question that a huge change in one’s personal and career life is work from home. Is it beneficial or detrimental when it comes to one’s relationship?
I talked to individuals who have gone from sitting in an office to working remotely, as well as therapists and counselors for families, and the simple response is: it depends.
The advantages are clear and wide-reaching. Working remotely can mean more time to be with your partner, going to your child’s recital, getting a lunch date, or logging off early to meet your love for a last-minute dinner out. You might also have a midday “sex date” if your partner is already home.
Yet it isn’t heaven to work from home. It’s still a job, and the lines between work and personal roles can always be blurred.
A typical dilemma that occurs for such couples is one where all of the household tasks are taken on by the partner working remotely. The remote worker, partner A, runs the errands, walks the dog during breaks, prepares dinners, and picks up the children, while partner B, who works in an office, does not do any or all of the activities. In a partnership, this could trigger tension and lead to confrontation.
It was also noted that problems could be created by remote workers not taking on household duties, especially if their wife is a homemaker or stay-at-home parent. This can create the idea that the remote worker shirks duties so they can carry the child, change the diaper, play with the baby, tend to the sick child, buy food, cook dinner, or clean the house while they are in the next room, but this may not be practicable. This will, as such, build excitement or create tension.
Another typical concern centers on what happens after the day of work is done.
The remote worker, who is mostly at home and alone, will also feel alone and in need of more talk time than their office-working colleague may feel the need of their partner. At the end of the working day, the remote-working partner will choose to go out and leave the home, while the office-working partner may feel exhausted from a long commute or from being in meetings all day long. This may lead to mistrust in the relationship because without the office-working partner, the remote employee could go out more frequently. And a drop in the prevalence of sex may mean more mistrust.
An individual working from home, on the one hand, gets the advantage of being able to work in virtually whatever clothes they want. On the other hand, it could unintentionally dull your sex life if you don’t get primped and professionally dressed as you would for an office job.
So, what does a couple do? Some poignant advice was shared by people who work from home, as well as friendship and sex therapists.
1. Configure a timetable.
2. Talk regarding breaking up household tasks.
3. Identify a particular workplace, then get away every so often.
4. Remote staff, in the morning, get ready.
5. When you figure things out, talk.